American Jewish Leaders Voice Hopes, Outline Task for New Year
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American Jewish Leaders Voice Hopes, Outline Task for New Year

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American Jewish community leaders, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, called on American Jews to rededicate themselves to the struggle for peace and democracy, for the realization of religious and moral values and for continued aid to their less fortunate brethren across the seas in the New Year of 5713.

Continued aid to Israel and the strengthening of Israel-American bonds were urged on American Jewry in messages reviewing Jewry’s gains and setbacks in the past year and assessing the problems and tasks facing it in the coming year. Many of the messages pointed with pride to gains made in 5712 on the political scene in America, on the communal scene in providing for local needs, and in the overseas programs by which American Jews help to bring tens of thousands of new immigrants to Israel, have taken the last of the DP’s out of camps and have helped return to self-respect and self-sufficiency the Jews of Europe.

The leadership of American Jewry’s national organizations indicated awareness that major jobs remain to be done in the fields of civil rights, community organization and local, national and overseas aid during the coming year and sought to enlist the support of every member of the world’s largest and strongest Jewish community.


Jacob Blaustein, president of the American Jewish Committee, paid tribute to the people of the United States for “having taken the lead in pushing forward the goals of our democracy–equal rights and equal opportunity for all.” He called the Jewish people to help “check the ruthless forces of totalitarianism” and urged them also to work to “lift the hand of fear which seeks to stifle freedom” in the U.S.

Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the American Jewish Congress, called for America to assume moral as well as economic leadership of the world and urged resistance in this country to a racist immigration policy. He called for the pledging of increased aid and “an unbreakable bond” of brotherhood to Israel.

In his message for the New Year, Frank Goldman, president of B’nai B’rith, expressed the hope that it would “witness the end of hostilities in Korea” and that the year would be “accompanied by a diminution of bigotry and discrimination.” He pledged his organization to continue its aid to Israel and to increase the “interest and activity of American Jews in the expression of our ancient faith and heritage.”

Julian Freeman, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, pointed out that a great deal of work remains to be done in providing care for the aged and needy in the American Jewish community and in repairing the human damage done to Jewry by a decade of Nazi persecution, as well as in helping solve the problems besetting Israel. He stressed the lessons learned by the Jewish community that its efforts could be strengthened by unity.


Justice Meier Steinbrink, chairman of the Anti-Defamation League, pointed out that the new year will present a challenge to the Jewish community in America. “In a world beset by conflicting ideologies, American Jews must be stronger than ever in their dedication to democratic ideals and the upholding of their own Judaic traditions.”

Samuel Bronfman, president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, predicted that Canadian Jewry would respond to the challenge of building in Israel a sanctuary where the “hapless of our people” can be sustained until they “can stand firmly on their own feet,” and declared: “Every strengthening of Israel is a strengthening of the forces that labor for freedom, democracy and world peace.”

Irving Edison, president of the National Jewish Welfare Board, appealed to American Jews to resolve to be true to the “deeply human traditions of Judaism.” Ben Touster, president of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, (HIAS), expressed the hope that in 5713 Jews would be permitted to “depart in peace from lands where hostile attitudes and discrimination hem them in,” and that discriminatory restrictions barring them from “lands of opportunity and safety” would be dropped. Dr. William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation, said that on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the ORT “rededicates itself to its chosen task of bringing dignity and independence to Jews everywhere.”


Abba S. Eban, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, in his Rosh Hashanah message, stressed that “Israel’s partnership with American Jewry again yielded generous and heartening response” and added that the U.S. Government, in keeping with its role of friendship with the State of Israel, “extended to Israel considerable and valuable aid.” But, the Ambassador stressed, “the coming year will not diminish Israel’s responsibilities. It may, indeed, increase them.”

Mrs. Rose Halprin, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency, said “the past year has been one of great economic trials for the State of Israel, but at its conclusion Israel emerged with increased stability to which the people of the United States, through their government and volunteer organizations, have greatly contributed.” She expressed confidence that “this assistance will continue for the coming year and until such time as Israel is completely stable economically.”

United Jewish Appeal general chairman Edward M.M. Warburg urged American Jews to “renew their resolve to stand by” the hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and children throughout the world who are dependent upon the UJA’s constituent agencies. At the same time he called for support of the special three-month UJA drive for $35,000,000 in cash, which opens in 1,500 communities Monday morning. He stressed that for the people of Israel “it is still a time of austerity and self-denial.”

Henry Morgenthau, Jr., chairman of the board of governors of the Israel bond drive, declared: “As the New Year opens, I know that the Jews of America, acting in concert with their fellow Americans of all faiths, will dedicate themselves anew to assisting in Israel’s heroic venture in democracy by supporting the state of Israel bond drive. Investment in Israel is an integral part of our country’s program of aid to democratic forces throughout the world. Our traditional wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year will take on new meaning as we translate them into concrete action to aid and strengthen the brave men and women of the State of Israel.”

Rudolf G. Sonneborn, chairman of the United Israel Appeal, in his Rosh Hashanah message appealing for aid to Israel, pointed out that “one out of every six newcomers still lives under canvas” in the Jewish State. Dr. Harris J. Levine, president of the Jewish National Fund of America, predicted that Israel “will emerge from its present difficulties as a stronghold of our Jewish civilization and a beacon light to the nations, fulfilling the visions of the Prophets.”


Louis Lipsky, chairman of the American Zionist Council, in his message said: “Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to the Government of the United States, under the leadership of President Harry S. Truman, for its continuous and wholehearted friendship toward Israel and for the economic aid and guidance they have given to our people in Israel, struggling valiantly, as they have, to provide homes and security for the hundreds of thousands of homeless Jews to whom Israel has served as a sanctuary.”

Rabbi Irving Miller, president of the Zionist Organization of America, asserted that the “American Jew has given striking evidence of his maturity and of his solidarity with the Jewish people.” He added: “If you believe that each Jewish community, whether in Israel or in the Diaspora, should make its own special contribution to the totality of Jewish civilization, then you will join us in strengthening the spiritual, cultural and economic ties between Israel and American Jewry.”

Dr. Pinkhos Churgin, president of the Mizrachi Organization of America, expressed the hope that in the coming year Israel would continue its advance toward the economic stability on which rest “the hopes of all men of good will that Israel will once again become a spiritual beacon for mankind.” Joseph Schlossberg, general manager of the National Committee for Labor Israel, pledged that his organization would continue aiding the Histadrut in its task of building the Jewish State and expressed the hope that peace would be established between Israel and the Arab states in the forthcoming year.

Rabbi Simon G. Kramer, president of the Synagogue Council of America, declared; “We look forward to the New Year with trust in God, faith in our country and hope for the entire world.” The Orthodox Rabbinate of America, through Rabbi. S.J. Rimson, its president, issued a call to American Jewry to unite with Jews everywhere in universal prayer for the cessation of strife and the restoration of world peace. The Rabbinical Alliance of America called upon the Jewish people “to return to the path that leads to G-d.”

Dr. Maurice N. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, expressed the hope that the United Nations, under Divine Guidance, would find a way of ending the war in Korea. Saluting the Israeli people, Dr. Eisendrath revealed that the UAHC was organizing a pilgrimage to Israel on the occasion of the forthcoming 3,000 anniversary of the beginnings of the city of Jerusalem.

A call to American Jews to rededicate themselves “to a revival of Judaism as the spiritual, ethical and universal religion of the great Prophets, so remarkably capable of integration with the ideals and way of life of the United States,” was voiced here by Rabbi Samuel Baron, religious director of the American Council for Judaism.

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